Understanding Lupin

March 25, 2016

Another word for lupin is lupine and it’s a legume which belongs to the same plant family as peanuts belong to. Many people can eat flour made from a lupin-derived ingredient or regular lupin according to senior medical advisor at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Stefano Luccioli, M.D. In some medical literature however, reactions to lupin for some people can be quite severe.

Some reactions can include a severe response to an allergen called anaphylaxis which may even include shock. This is life-threatening and can occur very fast. Lupin are allergens and they can cause this type of response.

People will develop an allergy to lupins over time like they do with all allergens. For people that already have a legume allergy, eating lupin could cause an allergic response even if they eat the food just once. People that are allergic to peanuts according to studies, have a greater chances of having an allergy to lupin. Parents know how to look for and to avoid peanuts if they have a child with a peanut allergy, but they may not know what a lupin is or if this is an ingredient which could harm their child.

For many Europeans, lupin is a staple food and they may be more aware of the allergenic properties of it and are more accustomed to seeing it as a food ingredient, but it’s quite new to the U.S. market. Many Americans may not even have heard of the legume. It may be found at Italian or other ethnic stores as lupini beans or it can be found in packaged products.

It can be Found Often in Gluten-Free Products

Lupin may become more popular because foods made with lupin-derived ingredients are the perfect substitutes for gluten-containing flours and it’s often used in gluten-free products. Today, there are more gluten-free products on store shelves and people that have an awareness about gluten are buying them. These buyers need to know that lupin may be a potential allergen for them.

You need to Read the Label

Food labels are required by law to list the ingredients of the product. When lupin is found in a food then it has to be listed on the label. Consumers that are looking to avoid lupin and those that have allergies to peanuts need to be careful and need to look for “lupine” or “lupin on their food labels and avoid the food if it’s there.

If you feel that you’re having an allergic reaction to lupin then you need to stop eating the product and seek medical care. You may have symptoms like hives, vomiting, swelling of your lips, or difficulty breathing according to Luccioli.

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